New frontiers? Three emerging APAC nutrition markets and strategies to watch out for in 2020


We spoke to brand owners who gave insights about the potential of multi-level marketing (MLM) in selling dietary supplements in South East Asia (SEA), growth boosted by greater health consciousness in Vietnam, and booming skin health category in Laos and Myanmar.

MLM in South East Asia

International MLM giants have been reaping good results from SEA.

One example is Herbalife, which has seen top-line growth in SEA​, in particular, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The three markets grew by 40%, 32%, and 28% respectively in terms of volume during the second half of 2019.

Amway also revealed Thailand as one of its fastest-growing markets last year, along with China, India, and the US. 

The potential of SEA markets has now attracted the attention of more MLM firms.

Chinese firm Infinitus, the subsidiary of Lee Kum Kee Health Products Group (LKKHPG), expanded into the Philippines​ in June last year.

The firm’s senior manager of new market development, Felix Young, has also identified SEA markets Malaysia and Thailand as countries that will further enhance its reach.

Citing statistics from WFDSA (World Federation of Direct Selling Association), he noted that APAC had contributed 46% of total global retail sales in 2018, and grew 1.8% yoy, becoming the region with the highest overall growth.

Its data also showed that wellness products accounted for 33.2% of global direct selling sales last year, up 3.4% compared to 2014.

For Infinitus, the statistics confirmed our strategy of using TCM based wellness products and skincare to bring health and happiness to everyone in APAC as well as the rest of the world,”​ Young said.


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